2013-10-02 / Features

Simotas Kicks Off Annual QSAC 5K Run/Walk


Assemblymember Aravella Simotas was the honorary chairwoman at the annual Next Steps 5K Run/Walk. Here she is seen starting the race. Assemblymember Aravella Simotas was the honorary chairwoman at the annual Next Steps 5K Run/Walk. Here she is seen starting the race. Assemblymember Aravella Simotas was welcomed as the honorary chairwoman at the annual Next Steps 5K Run/Walk organized by Quality Services for the Autism Community (QSAC). The event, held at Astoria Park, drew hundreds of participants and volunteers who joined in the cause to improve the caliber of resources available to those living with autism.

“I was so impressed by the dedication of the runners, walkers, and volunteers who really stepped up to the plate for this important cause,” Simotas said. “QSAC is such a fantastic and effective organization and I applaud their commitment to helping children, adults, and families facing autism.”

QSAC was founded in 1978 by parents concerned about the lack of clinical, educational, and vocational resources available for their children with autism. These parents strongly believed people with autism were capable of living at home, forming relationships, and becoming productive and integrated members of their communities.


Simotas posed with the runners and walkers. The event’s goal was to support the improvement of resources available to those living with autism. Simotas posed with the runners and walkers. The event’s goal was to support the improvement of resources available to those living with autism. Today, more than 1,100 QSAC employees work at more than 20 facilities throughout the New York City metropolitan area to provide educational, residential, therapeutic and family support services to over 2,700 people each year.

“QSAC is grateful for the leadership Assemblymember Simotas has shown in supporting the autism community,” said CEO and Executive Director of QSAC Gary Maffei. “With her help, and the generosity of more than 300 walkers and runners, QSAC raised much-needed funds to support our programs for children and adults with autism throughout New York City and Long Island.”

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